Maurice de Vlaminck, who was an admirer and follower of Vincent van Gogh, painted The Seine at Nanterre around 1907. Nanterre was a small industrial village on the Seine, just outside Paris. While he adheres to the figurative tradition, in this work De Vlaminck imbues the landscape with fresh energy through a dynamic composition, a pure use of colour and pronounced -almost tangible- brushstrokes. The horizontal composition is enlivened by the two vessels positioned diagonally in the foreground of the painting, and by a strong vertical element: the chimney stack on one of the boats. The robust physical approach in which the mechanics of painting commands attention is typical of the Fauves. The vivid use of primary colour -even in the planes of shadow- together with the implementation of complementary contrasts and the almost schematic rendition of the scene all fit with De Vlaminck's efforts to achieve a 'purification' of the landscape.

This painting is a good example of Vincent van Gogh’s influence on later painters, in this case the Fauvist school of the early 20th century. At the core of Fauvism lay the act of painting itself, the physical characteristics of the canvas and the paint, and it was in these aspects that their innovations were manifest. They simplified their landscapes to a great degree and by so doing their art opened the way for the later abstractions within Modernism.


  • Title: The Seine at Nanterre
  • Creator: Maurice de Vlaminck
  • Creator Lifespan: 1876-04-04/1958-10-10
  • Date Created: 1906/1907
  • Type: Landscape
  • Rights: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
  • External Link: Van Gogh Museum

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